Eco Church celebrates first year
A scheme to help churches undertake positive environmental steps resulted in hundreds of actions taken in its first year
Around 450 churches signed up to the Eco Church scheme after its launch at the beginning of 2016.
The scheme encourages a range of actions, from using a renewable energy supplier and improving energy efficiency to teaching about creation care and ensuring its land is sustainably managed. Bronze, silver and gold awards are given accordingly.
Lyme Regis Baptist Church was among the first to sign up to be an Eco Church.
Its Eco Church Rep Izzy Woodman explained how it has impacted all areas of church life. ‘What I have particularly enjoyed about Eco Church is how accessible and easy to use it is.
‘It gets churches thinking about the environment on a practical, spiritual and missional level in a way that I don’t think the church has ever been challenged to before. It provokes you to think about areas you had never thought of having an impact on the environment.’
The scheme is led by A Rocha UK, with support from the Church of England, the Methodist Church, Christian Aid and Tearfund.
Its Churches and Theology Director Dr Ruth Valerio, said, ‘Looking after our common home is an essential part of living out the Gospel, and Eco Church can inspire and equip us to do that well.
‘I’m thrilled with how Eco Church has taken off this year, and it has been exciting watching churches of all shapes and sizes getting involved. I’ve particularly loved visiting churches that have gained awards and seeing the impact that taking part in Eco Church has had on them as a church and in their communities.’
To mark the first anniversary of the Eco Church initiative ‘green communions took place across the UK from Canterbury Cathedral to York Minster.
A special order of service was written by the Precentor of Canterbury Cathedral, Matthew Rushton, containing bible verses, liturgies, and prayers and there was even an earth-friendly bread recipe on the Eco Church website.
'A new scheme to make churches green' Baptist minister Nigel Hopper introduces Eco Church, Christian charity A Rocha's new scheme to help churches become eco-friendly
Want to switch to a renewable energy supplier? A bulk buying scheme for Christians and churches has been set up: www.bigchurchswitch.org.uk